The Belgian tax department can use illegally obtained evidence against a tax payer, according to a decree by the Supreme Court, De Standaard reported on Wednesday. The Supreme Court’s decree, dated the 22nd of May, says the tax department can use this type of evidence in cases where a fair trial is impossible.
The Court submitted this decree following a case where Belgian authorities were not able to follow the normal legal procedure to get information from their Portuguese colleagues.
The decision is not popular with financial lawyers. “People will not be able to contest in cases where data has been stolen, like with HSBC for example”, says the financial lawyer Hubert Dubois. Lawyers think this decree will encourage the tax department to carry out inspections for example, which are highly regulated by law.